Impact assessment and monitoring

The plan has indirect steering impacts; as a tool for spatial planning, it supports regional land use planning and regional development by producing information about the opportunities and framework conditions of maritime industries and the marine environment.

Impact assessment

The preparation of the maritime spatial plan is subject to the Act on the Assessment of the Effects of Certain Plans and Programmes on the Environment. The authorities responsible for the maritime spatial plan must ensure that the environmental impacts of the plan are studied and assessed to a sufficient extent during its preparation if the implementation of the plan may have significant environmental impacts.

The impact assessment takes into account the ecological, economic, social and cultural aspects. The review takes into account the direction of the impact – positive or negative change – and its significance. The maritime spatial plan is a strategic document, meaning that it can only have indirect impacts. Impact path analyses of the sector have been carried out by comparing the key content of the maritime spatial plan with any executive processes and the impacts of implementation in terms of the vision, roadmap and planning solutions. (Figure)

The combined impacts of maritime industries and marine area in relation to ecosystems have been assessed from the perspective of planetary boundaries and the carrying capacity of the Baltic Sea. The overall impacts have also been assessed from the perspective of economic and socio-cultural impacts, including land–sea interaction.

The impact assessment covers the significant direct and indirect impacts of maritime spatial plans for the sectors considered in maritime spatial planning. The impact assessment is based on an examination of the change caused by the maritime spatial plan compared with a situation that would prevail if the plan did not exist. The review has been carried out by planning area.  

An assessment in accordance with section 65, subsection 1 of the Nature Conservation Act is not conducted in connection with the preparation and approval of a maritime spatial plan. The maritime spatial plan covers the Finnish territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone of Finland, which also include many Natura 2000 areas. The maritime spatial plan identifies potential for existing and new operations that may have an impact on the nature values based on which areas have been included in the Natura 2000 network. Assessments in accordance with the Nature Conservation Act must not be prepared until in connection with projects and plans, such as planning and permit procedures, that compromise the nature values on which the protection of Natura 2000 areas is based.

Learn more about the assessment of the impacts of maritime spatial plans. You can download the final report on maritime spatial plan impact assessment.


The impacts of the implementation of maritime spatial plans are monitored and assessed to check the effectiveness of the measures and monitor changes in environmental conditions and the use of marine areas, as well as assessing whether the plans have been successful.

To support monitoring and assessment, the starting points, goals and measures of maritime spatial planning have been examined, and the related monitoring indicators and their responsible parties have been determined. The quality criteria of the EU MSP Platform have been taken into account in terms of indicators. The following aspects are monitored and assessed: protection and management of the marine environment, offshore wind power, maritime logistics, tourism and recreation, fishing and aquaculture, the maritime industry, blue biotechnology, the extractive sector, cultural heritage and national defence.

The monitoring and assessment take into account that the maritime spatial planning authorities can only control the goals set for the maritime spatial planning process and the maritime spatial plan. In terms of achieving sector-specific goals and higher-level strategic goals and implementing the related measures, it must be kept in mind that maritime spatial planning and maritime spatial plans are only connected to these through indirect impact chains. 

The monitoring and assessment will be carried out in cooperation with maritime stakeholders during the second round of planning.

For more information, you can consult the report on the Monitoring and evaluation model for maritime spatial planning. The effectiveness and the achievement of the goals of the maritime spatial plan for Finland 2030 will be examined during the second planning round.


European MSP Platform. Indicators, monitoring and evaluation. https://www.msp-platform.eu/faq/indicators-monitoring-and-evaluation 

Nature Conservation Act (1096/1996), section 65.1 (‘Assessment of projects and plans’)

Act on the Assessment of the Effects of Certain Plans and Programmes on the Environment (200/2005) (SEA Act) Section 3 of the Act concerns the preparation of maritime spatial planning.